Do you sometimes feel like God isn’t there? Our feelings may tell us that, but our emotions shouldn’t drive us regarding our trust in God. The Bible says that the righteous live by faith; without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Therefore, we shouldn’t have to feel God to know He’s there. Still, it’s understandable if you sometimes feel discouraged because it seems God isn’t around.

A series of disappointing events, unanswered prayer, a devastating diagnosis or a betrayal by a loved one can cause you to think that God doesn’t care about your life. Other times, we get so busy in our everyday lives and everything on our to-do list that we feel bad that we’re not doing enough for Him to want to be around us. Because God has promised He’ll never leave us or forsake us in Hebrews 13:5, we can be reassured of His constant presence whether we’re struggling with a hurtful situation or too busy to notice He’s near. Here are some ways to put our focus on God and notice His presence amid your chaotic schedule or your struggles.

Come clean with God.

Sometimes, you can’t sense God’s presence because something is preventing communication between the two of you. He hasn’t left, but your understanding of His presence may be caused by unconfessed sin in your life. David said when he kept his sins to himself, he felt his bones wasting away through his groaning all day long. However, when he confessed his sins, God forgave him. If you feel like God isn’t around you because you haven’t talked in a while, tell God what’s going on in your mind and heart, asking Him to give you an ear to His voice. If we confess our sins, He’s righteous and faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When your relationship with Him is restored, the communication can flow again. So cleanse through forgiveness and let it flow.

Read the Bible aloud.

When you speak God’s Word aloud, you’ll sense its power and His presence. In Hebrews 4:12, the Bible reminds us that God’s Word is active and living, sharper than any two-edged sword. That sharp sword will make you aware of its weight or pierce your heart through inspiration, conviction, or determination. A pricked heart is better than a dull heart. It might help to read a different translation than the one you’re accustomed to to switch things up. Sometimes, a verse you’re familiar with can affect your heart in a different or new way when it’s worded differently, causing you to sense God’s presence in a new way.

Sing a love song to Him.

God occupies the praises of His people. Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel closer to God in church, singing praise songs or hymns? It could be because that’s where worship typically takes place. When you praise Him, regardless of where you are, you’ll sense His presence because you’re no longer focused on yourself but on Him. Worship isn’t limited to singing, but if singing a praise song to Him puts your focus on His presence, you should try it. When we open the door of our hearts to love Him, He’ll meet us there.

Speak His name.

People around you may use God’s name, but the Bible says there’s power in Jesus’ name because salvation is found in no one else. Say God’s name aloud as the answer to everything you seek, as the source to calm your spirit, as the one whose presence you desire, and you’ll sense the power of His peace and presence.

Say a prayer.

Sometimes, we need God but don’t know what to say or where to begin. You can start by saying His name, then speak your heart’s cry. Often, it’s just telling Jesus that we need Him or asking Him to give us a heart for Him. The simplest of cries are the ones that permeate His heart the quickest.

Go for a walk.

Exercise brings your mind, body, and heart to life. If you feel dead spiritually, get outside, move around, tell Him what’s on your heart and let Him bring you back to life spiritually. The best times with God are when we talk while pouring our hearts to Him and listening for His voice. Walking in nature can make you more aware of the creation around you, making you feel more in touch with your Creator. Pick a quiet place near a lake or stream where you can hear the water or along a tree-lined path where the wind blows the leaves. Try to take note of the birds singing or any other creation as a reminder that God made it all.

Take deep breaths.

Sometimes, we can’t sense God’s presence because too much is happening around us.

Instead of focusing on the traffic, noise, confusion, and thoughts running in our minds, try to center your mind on God and start breathing deeply. Exhale the distracting thoughts and inhale a desire to sense His presence. Exhale your preoccupation with yourself and inhale a desire to know Him fully. Exhale the worries of the moment and inhale God’s peace. There’s a reason why the Bible says to be still and know that God is God, as detailed in Psalm 46:10.

Sometimes, we’ll feel like God isn’t there, but we shouldn’t let our feelings separate us from God. Even in the moments when we feel like God isn’t there, He’s there, watching over and protecting us. All we have to do is listen for His voice and know He loves us.

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